The Meaning of ‘Tyee’ as it Pertains to Fish
Let’s start with the answers to “What is a Tyee fish?” and “What is the meaning of Tyee?
According to Wikipedia, it’s simply another of the many names for a Chinook salmon which include king salmon, spring salmon, Quinnat salmon in addition to Tyee salmon. But to west coast fishermen, it means a bit more than that.
The name Tyee carries a certain reverence about it; even if you’re not entirely sure what it means, you know it’s something significant. The word actually comes from the language of the Nuu-chah-nulth people, the original human inhabitants of coastal Vancouver Island. It means king, chief or champion. Makes sense.
When the term “Tyee” is applied to Chinook salmon then, it means a really big salmon. To fishermen on the west coast, Tyee refers to Chinook salmon weighing over 30 lbs. They’re considered a trophy fish and a pretty big deal to land.
Tyee are definitely the king of salmon so it makes sense to want to keep some sort of souvenir of your catch. Luckily for guests at Eagle Nook Resort, instead of just taking a couple photos, our artist-in-residence, Mya Deryan, can create a life-sized rubbing of their fish and it can still be filleted and taken home for dinner.
If you’ve fished on the West Coast of British Columbia chances are you’ve probably heard the term “Tyee” a couple of times, maybe you’ve even been lucky enough to catch one of these huge fish yourself. But really, it doesn’t matter what sized fish you catch, because time spent fishing is time spent well.